The neighborhood looks different, older, a little tired. Like me. Of course everything looks different if you add over forty-five years to the equation.
As I drove north on the street my mom still lives on, a memory hit me. I don’t have a lot of choice as to when I stroll down memory lane, especially when I’m driving on the lanes of my childhood. I looked for the house on the east side of Eastwind.
Back in the day it sat all by its lonesome. All those vacant lots are history. I searched for the short and steep driveway. The once offensive bright orange front door was long gone or painted.
I was hanging out with my buddy Dave D. All kids in junior high are looking for fun… Even if the fun is at the expense of someone else. Using the telephone to ask the local store owners if they had Prince Albert in the can doesn’t last all night… especially in a small town with only a couple of stores.
Occasionally we’d knock on a door or ring a doorbell and run like the wind. I admit that night it was my idea. It was my neighborhood after all.
I slowed my truck to a crawl. Yep. The steep driveway and the wide front window between the driveway and the front door brought that night in nineteen seventy five back to me in living color.
There aren’t but a handful of streetlights in Lake Havasu City and there are still none within five miles of that street. The night was pitch black. It was hard to see the top of our tennis shoes walking.
There were people inside the house. It was winter and the front window was open. We could hear them talking inside.
I was half way under the wide window when I glanced back. Dave had stalled a couple of feet from the window. I waved him toward me silently, fighting back a snicker.
Dave was having serious second thoughts. Then again, he and JC were the smartest ones in the class. He shuffled backwards and headed back down the driveway.
I never did make the trek under the window to the front door. Still crouched in the middle of the window, hidden by the stucco area underneath it, without a coherent thought, I acted.
I jumped with my arms up like a gorilla, “AHHHHHHHH!!!!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.
All four of them jumped, but none higher than the middle aged man with the glasses, hands locked behind his head, reclining on a green sofa, right next to the window.
I didn’t give much thought to that steep driveway. Not until I was sprinting full speed toward the road that I couldn’t see.
I can’t recall if I tore my jeans or shirt that night, but I remember vividly all the skin I tore off my palms skidding on the pavement. That’s close to instant justice.
A few days later, back at home, there was a group text going around the family. It was a video of my grandson, Mr. B, at his aunt Ali’s front door. Her Ring picked up a video of him ringing her doorbell and running… He’s three…
I think God has a sense of humor…